NFL Late Hits: Week 17

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2010

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 03:  Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn looks on from the sideline against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on January 3, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Redskins 23-20.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Apologies for the tardiness of this entry—yesterday was a sea of catch-up work, pinched back nerves, and getting back on schedule.

Of course, the talk on any message board I go to seems to still be circling the "Bengals/Colts must go to hell for giving the Jets a free pass."

It’s understandable. While I submit there is an excellent chance the Jets could have (and this weekend will) beat a Bengals team they match up with pretty well, I have a hard time assuming the same about the Colts game.

The same Colts team gunning for individual achievements (Manning’s game streak, Wayne and Clark hitting 100 catches) despite ignoring the Holy Grail of team records—the undefeated season.

You say tomato, they say to-mah-to.

Of course all this is great—it gives analysts, radio hosts, and message board denizens a talking point that could keep them going for a long time.

Meanwhile we’re just left with the *yawn* playoffs to occupy us until Indianapolis shuts us up with a Super Bowl or vindicates many of us by losing early once again after instituting their usual "sit the starters policy."

Several stories are there to talk about besides the angry mobs of Colts fans, though.

Many of them involve coaching vacancies.

It was actually sort of quiet until the Bills fired everyone on the staff, followed today by the Bears ejecting all their offensive coaches.

Of course, the story on Black Monday which stuck with me the most was the incredibly classy way the Washington Redskins got rid of Jim Zorn.

I realize they "didn’t want to wait any longer to start building a winner," but 4 a.m.? And then making him clean out his office immediately?

Listen, can you expect anything else from a franchise suing a portion of its fanbase? Yes, from a legal and business standpoint, I know they can sue anyone who signed a contract. And yes, they settled with the grandmother they were suing. And people will use the economy to wriggle out of plans they just don’t want anymore.

I’m not saying they just let fans walk away willy nilly—but in this economy, you need to have some sympathy. They took way too long to show much.

So no, it isn’t a shock that Zorn was fired early and then escorted out before the sun rose.

Still, the firing itself is no shock, as Zorn was dead man walking when he had play calling duties yanked. The fact that Mike Shannahan was waiting with pen poised over contract sped it up a bit I’m sure.

I guess you could argue the same for either Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner or the entire staff for the Bills.

The Bills imploded all season long—repeatedly too, which is impressive. Given that we began the season talking about changing offensive coordinators, was there really all that much optimism?

There actually was, as many analysts I read were talking the Bills up as No. 3 or (if they were smoking crack) No. 2 in the AFC East.

I didn’t share it, so that the Bills have blown the staff up and are looking to potentially blow the team up as well is no stunning revelation to me.

The culling of the Bears offensive staff isn’t that big a shocker either given how bad that squad played. From letting the offensive line remain mediocre to not finding a way to surround Cutler with talent, the Bears offense has been de-fanged all year long.

At some point, someone had to answer for it and Turner was that guy. He’s been there for five years and really, was any one of those really exceptional?

At some point the buck stops there—however keep in mind that after the axe falls on the offensive coordinator, the head coach is usually next up.

Another underwhelming season in 2010 and Lovie Smith may find himself blown out in the Windy City.

It’s barely two days from the end of the regular season and we anxiously await many hirings and several more potential firings. (Has Cleveland’s Eric Mangini dodged his bullet?)

While I expect it to be calmer this year after 11 changes last season, you never know with the NFL.

For more articles like this one, check out ThunderingBlurb.com.

Related

    2020 NFL Draft to Be Held in Las Vegas

    NFL logo
    NFL

    2020 NFL Draft to Be Held in Las Vegas

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Does Brady Still Have the TB12 Magic?

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Does Brady Still Have the TB12 Magic?

    Tyler Dunne
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Wentz (Back) May Sit Out Rest of the Year

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Wentz (Back) May Sit Out Rest of the Year

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    NFL International Games for 2019

    NFL logo
    NFL

    NFL International Games for 2019

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report